Twenty five years on the bridge to OTVII
(Taken from ESMB)
In my past I have been a story telller, it is what I like to do anyway, a raconteur I think it is called, but like the barbers cat it is all wind and piss,... verbal, and usually around a campfire in the bush or the outback, it is an art form handed down through a long line of semi-literates. I can not write to save my life, so I apologise before hand. Some of you may have already noticed this as I tried to post over the last months, trying to say something important and ending up tripping over the keyboard.
I do, however, have a story worth telling. It is the story of my involvement with the cult of scientology, it spans a quarter of a century where I got most of the way up the bridge and did scores of courses, trained as an auditor and did admin training as well. I hope I show how in this strange environment a man can lose sight of what matters to him, his goals, values and passions, himself and the reason he joined the church in the first place.
The majority of my adult education was inside the church. When you are a scientologist ( the Tom Cruise version ) you have all the answers, and if you don't know something then the answer is at your finger tips in those conveniently indexed volumes and books. You can be sure Ron solved it, one doesn't have to search or evolve a solution to much at all. And I knew Ron's solution were right, KSW said so. That policy gives you the reality that there is one right way and an infinity of wrong ways. You can and must do it the right way, Ron's way. Also, I knew exactly what to think about homosexuals, psychs, the media, labour movements, communists, other practices, victims, the FBI, squirrels, doctors and defectors. I didn't really need to engage my own critical resources. The world and the last several trillion years have been pre-digested and packaged for my easy understanding. As I said, I had all the answers. All in black and white... or red on white, LOL. Anyway, I thought I did, but once I got out I have asked myself; how did I get like this? How did I let my viewpoint get supplanted by someone elses? How did I buy so much information without questioning it?
how I arrived in the cult
I will start early, so long as I don't do a Dan Sherman and put anyone to sleep. I think my story's beginning explains how I arrived in the cult and why I hung on so hard to the church and the tech, despite everything.
I had an unsettled childhood, my parents drank and fought....a lot. My father was Italian, he had served his country in WW II and after the war become a merchant sea man. To avoid the poverty in Italy he jumped ship in Perth and a dodgy lawyer had fixed his nationality. He was very unhappy and worked little, he was also given to violent outbursts, one night I recall my brother came from the kitchen and said "mum was choking" I was 9 or 10, we ran in and my father was reviving her, she was gasping for breath tears streaming down her face. Dad was explaining to us how he would never hurt her, it stuck in my mind, I hadn't considered the possibility, why did he say that ? This sort of thing became a regular occurence over the next couple of years.
I remember my father would sit in his armchair in the living room for days on end, drinking red wine. Often with my brother and I at his feet. I had two brothers actually, one was two years younger than me, he was my fathers favourite, I never minded, I was always treated well. My youngest brother was a year younger again. The old man hated him, he was not allowed into the living room, nothing he did was any good, apparently he was meant to be a girl, and he was getting a hiding for it. I remember getting sick and vomitting as a kid after he was treated like that, rejected, banished... I guess I must have found it hard to watch. Dad became dangerously violent to my mother later. So we fled to my grandfather's farm, it was my favourite place in the world, it was a 3600 acre grazing property and for the next few years it became my salvation many times. I worked there on and off, school holidays and I also missed a lot of school when we were avoiding the old man or, later when no one could manage me. I worked as a "jackeroo", an Australian bush term for a stock hand, especially a learner. We worked cattle and sheep, mostly on horse, with dogs, we also cut burrs (thistles) with hoes, eradicated foxes and rabbits as well as putting up miles of fencing.
There were two stock men there at the time, and I knocked around with them. I remember going to bed after tea, so sore and tired, aching to my bones, my hands had blistered, which in turn had broken and blistered again, they hurt, but some how it made me feel vital. It was my first love being out on 'the land' with the kangaroos and birdlife. Now at this later part of my life I have returned to the land, on my own place in the outback.
After their divorce my father had taken my mother to court and won visiting rights every second weekend, after an acrimomious battle in which it was conclusively proven by my mother, in my mind at least, that any one in his care was in grave danger. I would not go, my two brothers would as they missed him terribly, my youngest reveling in his fathers new found affection for him. Once they came back with the empty box that was for ammunition, they told mum that dad said that it was for her. It was around that time I asked my mother if she had ever thought of killing herself back when it got rough during the divorce. She told me that she had planned to take all three of us and kill us then herself, because there was no way she would let him get custody of us Although it didn't really sink in at the time, I remember how dark the world looked to me after that day, and I never saw my mother the same way again,.. How bad could it have been for her if that was a solution ? , and I never felt the same level of security after that, I was 12.
My mum remarried, I found it hard to give my step father a fair go and it was mutual. He was, however, incredibly stabilizing to our family and we settled on the coast. At least mum was happy, they hardly ever fought.
One day I went to the city to watch a movie with some friends I was around 14 years old, I was smoking a cigarette and I saw my father on the street . I hid the cig and walked past him, he said hello when he recognised me, I just nodded and walked past. The thing I missed, because I was preoccupied with my own opinion of him and my out ethics, was that he was clearly homeless, from his clothes and careworn look. It was the last time I ever saw him. He had long since stopped visiting my brothers.
A couple of years later a barman at a pub where he was a regular, put him out side in an unconscious state at closing time, obviously assuming my father was drunk, which I guess was a regular occurrence. When the barman arrived back the next day for work my father was still there, unconscious. He'd had a brain hemorrhage, I think it was from a tumor that had been growing for years undetected.
He spent the next year in a nursing home. Ironically, the home he was put in was only a few miles from us. I announced to my mother and step father that I wanted to go see him, they forbade it, they were utterly horrified and told me he was a vegetable. In fact none of us went to see him. He died shortly after that.
15 years old, barely able to read
I had fallen through the cracks in secondary school, left at 15 years old, barely able to read. I started a trade; ship and boatbuilding, but could not assimilate data well enough to pass the tech course, I eventually dropped out after two years. I became very interested in philosophy, I needed answers to life, I was not in sync with the world where people got jobs and had kids, obviously to me this was born of my own failures. I read books , again not understanding much but desperate to learn. I decided to travel and I hitchiked the whole way around Australia . I left the day I turned 18, I worked various itinerant jobs, unloading prawn trawlers in Nth Queensland, labouring and putting up windmills on the big Northern Territory cattle stations.(ranches)
One of them was 5000 square kms, none of these stations had TV or radio, mail came once a week, the black stock men and their families were kept in three sided tin sheds with dirt floors, the only piece of furniture they had was a broken down fridge, they would use it as a wardrobe ! The place was like a small town with a tribe of natives out the back. One day I watched a weather hardened stockman, a white feller, end his day, take his saddle and a gin (an aboriginal woman) in to his cabin, twenty minutes later she left adjusting her clothes. It was a daily routine. She was not allowed to sleep in the white mans digs.
On Saturday night all the ringers (that's the term in the out back for a cowboy) were dressed in their best boots, moleskins and checked shirts, all topped with their swankiest rodeo hats. One of the blackfellers says to me; 'Hey, brother, come to the mess we got a reel to reel ! and we're watching a real good western tonight. It's a John Wayne !' It was the big night out on the station. The only other way to reach the out side world was the 'two way radio', in the mornings particularly there would be a lot of chatter between the neighbours, who in some cases lived 50 miles apart. The flying doctor would come on at 8 or 9am and everyone would have to stop their socializing.
One windmill on that place used to pump out of a billabong it was about a mile long and from the top of the windmill you could see deep into the cool water, there was a fresh water croc that I would watch as he lazily swam around in there. From the windmill you could see his mud slide where he would launch himself into the water. Guess where we had to bathe? Only, when you were down on the water you couldn't see where he was and while we washed after work we'd rib each other "there he is, behind you!" The days would get as hot as 48c so we weren't going to let a little 7 foot fresh water croc stop us from swimming. By the way, a fresh water croc is not going to bite you unless you grab it, but if it was a big salty (salt water croc) you would not survive your second swim, he would wait for you where he last saw you.....for as long as it took. Oh, and the term salt water croc is a misnomer, they also live in fresh water as many dead pommy backpackers have discovered.
In fact I was nearly taken twice by crocs in the North, the funniest time was when we were on an NT (Northern Territory) beach, near Darwin. There was about 15 of us, aboriginals, musicians, hippies, ....pirates and bums, we had spent all our pooled money on grog, so with 2 fishing lines we fed the whole party, grilling the fish and big mud crabs on a fire. Must have been late, most of the party was asleep...pissed. My mate went for a swim, stripped down naked and dived in, he swam around for about twenty minutes, he went out into the deep water too, I could see him in the moonlight, he comes in and sits down on his clothes to drip dry in the tropical air. I look up and see 20 yards away, on the waters edge, just where he came from, a 14 foot salt water croc !!!. I tell him, but he's pissed and says "no, it's a log". I wake up a gin, Naomi, and ask her, she peers through drunken eyes down the beach....." 'sa croc".. slumps back to sleep. After a further argument with me, my mate picks up his ukulele to go and bash this log...to prove what an idiot I am. He gets within 6 feet and the "log" opens its enormous jaws, he freezes,.. my heart stops...my mate looks as though he is trying to disappear. A croc can launch from a still position faster than a horse, but he doesn't, my old mate backs up away another 6 feet, turns around and sprints up the beach yelling 'CROCODILE, CROCODILE". The whole camp erupts into panic, drunks getting up and staggering away and up the track in the pitch black, I was last and sure that the croc was on my heels !!!
my world "cracked"
So, I wandered, some times hitching 300 kms on dirt roads between towns looking for work in the great outback, I traveled with aborigines, ringers, Pommy backpackers, Carnies and hippies. Sometimes we lived off the land, and sometimes the charity of others. Usually camping out in my swag. I then drifted up and down the east coast and NT for nearly two years. All of a sudden I was heading back home and my world "cracked". I remember it well; I was on the "dingo track", a major trucking route running down through central Queensland. I had been riding on a road train (a cattle truck with a prime mover that pulled three trailers) and was stuck in a little town for several hours (no big deal, once I got stuck in Kunnunurra for six days with only 2 or 3 cars a day going past !) I thought "shit , I can't go home, I got nothing to live for there, and I can't be a drifter my whole life like those old DBs that went from town to town camping with the black fellers and shagging the gins before wearing out their welcome through drunken abuse, so; what the fuck can I do with my life? " I decided at that time to become a counselor, I had no clue ....couldn't read well enough to learn, but I had been in scientology before, only I did not know it.
When I got back home I scoured the newspapers looking for an opportunity to get a counseling job, no surprise... it wasn't going too well, but then I found it; an ad from the dianetics information center, "counselors wanted". I called up and they were surprisingly obliging. I made an appointment to go in the next day, I got the usual drill; OCAs, life ruins, free lectures etc. I had no money so I did a 3 month contract in exchange for the dianetics course. It was not a standard arrangement but the courseroom was full of travelers and bludgers learning to book one audit. At the end of that I wandered off, I struggled through DMSMH in the next few weeks. It gnawed at me, what if I could go clear ? I went back into the org and told them I wanted to go clear, with dianetics, I was not interested in the other (expensive) stuff, the grades and NED, if this book said it could be done in a handful of hours, then that was going to be the way it would happen. The reg said, in an indignant tone," well, you will have to do the purif", "OK " says I "but only that and dianetics." As you all probably guessed, all the powers of heaven and earth conspired from that point to push me off, not only that path, but every possible path I might follow of my own choosing from that day forth. I was still 19 years old.
As I continued, I like everyone else endured SO and staff recruitment interviews which seemed to have no end. Eventually I was asked to come to a metered interview, I had no idea what it was about. I was very green, I guessed it was more recruitment and I had already confessed to no LSD, so when asked about drugs I tried to hit the jackpot, naming every drug I had ever heard of, hoping to end the constant attempts to press me into the "navy". I was later surprised to be given a "TE" which included a LOT of drug handling. It turned out that I'd lied my way through my first D of P interview !
At this time my folks were going nuts about me being involved with the cult, my step father handed me the newspaper one day. It was a story of kids being locked in a chain locker of a ship by Hubbard, how he was terrified of germs and smells. It told of people being imprisoned and interrogated. It made me feel ill, but I knew it could not be true, the Ron I "knew" was a man of ARC, the friend of mankind. I was a fortress and endured their obvious suppressive attempts to get me out of the church.
scientology taught me to read
Something I have noticed is that people that had major difficulties handled in scientology later cling to the tech after ending their affinity with the church as it was the stable data that ended a long term confusion. So it was for me; scientology taught me to read, scarily enough, it was on the student hat course. I cleared almost every third word on that course. But that gave me an unshakable certainty, that this was the way out of the 'trap' that I was told we were all in. I became the fastest student in the academy, I eventually joined staff with my new wife and trained as an auditor.
This is the doctrine of "the confusion and the stable datum". See, for me in any case, I had a big ruin and a lot of confusion that came with it. The dissem drill plays on this; the FSM (field staff member) or reg asks "what is ruining your life ?" Most "ruins" have a tremendous amount of confusion connected to them, which restimulates at this point, then after listening to the answer the FSM/reg says "scientology can handle that" or some such thing. Confusion and the stable datum. It is much more profound and far reaching when it occurs for real, scientology handled my illiteracy, something which had made me feel very, very stupid for most of my life to that time.
Now the tech on this, which is covered in several areas of scientology; "FPRD" (the false purpose rundown, which is designed to rid one of their bad intentions) , "the prior confusion" and the "service fac tech" (a service fac is a computation generated by a person to deal with an un-confrontable confusion) states that the postulate prevents the confusion being viewed, and the confusion prevents the postulate (stable data) from lifting. So many years later I endured 15 years of solo nots ( one of scientologys highest levels), without a lot of gain and 13 intensives of FPRD (auditing is sold in 12.5 hour blocks called intensives or "ints") and another 4 ints of sec checking (confessional), all on the 6 month eligibilities, plus traveling to flag about 20 times, all of which I hated, add to that the mind bending ethics trips where kids, with no life experience tell you what is expected and how to run your life, based on you session KRs (a KR is a knowledge report, in scientology one is obliged to write up their knowledge of others out ethics, it applies to auditors as well). I went through all that because I had that stable datum "scientology works" and I could not inspect it after that. The big irony which I have since learned, is that the tech that worked for me, was the life work of a couple by the name of Ava and Charles Berner. Ron had plagiarized it. It was only when writing this, that the penny dropped, it was that win which had cemented my loyalty.
Later, when one is in scientology, and various insane things are seen in the administration of the cult, a similar mechanism occurs. You explain away each outpoint you see, the group will help you do it too. This is covered in the data series "the brain strains to explain the illogic". Well it is uncomfortable to be in the "island of sanity" and see things far crazier than out on the street. So you look at the SO exec who is screaming at the staff and the failing org or the OTs that fall far short of anything expected and you say "they are just not trained" "they have MUs' "he did his bridge before the GAT". Each of these postulates/ justifications/explanations, call them what you will PREVENT further inspsection of the area, it also stops you keeping count or connecting these things and viewing them in their sheer number.
any doubts... are based on your own mis-deeds
Also, when you accept the dogma you know the moment you have any doubts that they are based on your own mis-deeds and the subsequent critical thoughts. So what happens is you interrupt your own thought process to wonder what crimes you have. It is trained into you by the tech and org staff, particularly ethics officers drill it into you. THE RESULT IS THAT YOU DON'T HAVE A CHANCE AT EVALUATING THE CHURCH IMPARTIALLY. Hubbard also pointed out that the breaking down of a persons ability to withold reduces their intelligence, it was an early discovery to do with confessionals and early on there was a remedy for it. Not now. I am sure we are all meant to be as dumb as possible and not able to withold (a mis-deed or a dollar) when it comes to the church. So natural and balanced critical thinking skills are disabled, in the direction of scientology, in any case.
Later when I recovered a bit from this mind fuck I did a thorough doubt condition with the true data of the church's intentions. I was able to make a list of the "activities" of the group, that list was divided into pro and contra survival actions. The contra survival list was many times bigger than the pro list. It surprised me, as I did not include anything I had not seen myself, so nothing I read on the web went into it. I was seeing scientology for the first time. In saying this I am not saying the tech is rot, but it is not the tech to achieve OT or total freedom, a claim whereby it gets most of its mystique. It is what it is, and does what it does, that seems to be a different thing person to person.
Under endless recruitment pressure my wife and I eventually signed a five year contract to work at the org. I trained as a staff auditor and my wife worked in the public division. On reflection, being on staff was the most unproductive and asinine activity of my life.
There was no cramming, no internship, stats were achieved through threat and duress or straight falsification, the phones were often disconnected because the bill was not paid. Auditors had to buy every thing they needed, work sheet paper, silver cert their own meters, I even had to fight to get a room to audit in.
My new wife was on AD COUNCIL with the top execs in the org, mostly women and all having marital difficulty, and it was not long before we were too. We were stretched to the limit, staff hours were 6.15 pm to 10.30pm five nights, then 9am to 6 pm Saturday and Sunday, staff pay was sometimes in the cents, it was no joke. We had bought our first home, a one bed apartment and we both worked to pay for the loans we had taken out before joining staff to buy our bridges to clear, which we had still not achieved, as well as paying our mortgage. So we both worked days, my wife was a marketing graduate and had a big job with a major department store. I laboured, often starting very early. With the pressure to get stats up we seldom left the org before midnight and sometimes as late as 2am, it was murder. I was nearly a zombie, we were a few months into our marriage and were not getting on. We were in fact on the edge of a divorce, and had talked about it many times. Nearly two years in and I was thinking of walking from everything, and becoming an itinerant old DB (degraded being ) was starting to look very appealing.
traded for a lifetime of slavery
We were not doing well on our posts, and became the subject of the execs special attention, when, with their data evaluation skills they worked out that the problem was we had other fish to fry; we needed to sell our apartment and move closer to the org, in a shared rental scene with other staff. All the equity I had in the apartment would pay out our debts and then we would be able to buy the additional hours to get to clear. Under duress I put the apartment on the market, within a short period we got a buyer. Suddenly my world went black, I got a knot in my gut and felt my future getting sucked into some evil, cold vortex. I felt like all my plans and goals were being traded for a lifetime of slavery. It was an awful feeling, but I knew I was looking at my future.
I announced to my wife that we were not selling. At that time I was also slated for class 8 training at flag, I knew this could take three or more years and would end my marriage for sure. Pulling out of the flag training flapped for me but I did not care, a month later a real estate boom started and within a year our place doubled in value. Selling it then would have risked cutting us out of home ownership for life.
On reflection, none of these guys actually owned anything, I am sure it bothered them that we did, we were many years younger than them, and clearly not dedicated enough to the cause of clearing the planet. It seemed to me that a total sacrifice was what we were being asked for, later that theme would repeat itself many times and we would be asked to sacrifice many things as a sign of our dedication and participation.
I found it tough to be an auditor, I struggled to do a job that I was proud of, I was unsure of my metering and on several occasions sent videos of my session to the quality control sec of the AO (advanced org) to check out. I was told my metering was good, I know it was not. There was no functioning qual at my org , and I had audited for six months before I got a cramming interview, which again was at the AO. I was meant to be interning but all that any of my seniors were interested in was WDAHs (well done auditing hours). So getting time to actually do my internship actions was impossible. If there were not enough PCs for me to get my hours I would be sent to write OWs, my overts and witholds and write procurement letters. It seemed bizarre to me that there were forty administrative staff, all supposed to get PCs into the org, and there was only three auditors, yet the absense of PCs would be seen totally as the auditors fault, and I do mean fault. I was made to feel even less competent as an auditor than I already did, if I did not have a completely booked line up.
"it couldn't be as it came from RTC."
Around this time I was auditing a pc who was not going as well as I would have liked. So not wanting to waste his auditing hours I sent him to ethics where it was decided he needed to write his overts and witholds up. This means he had not been adequately ethical to make the gains he should have, so he had the chance to write down his sins and end cycle on the particular track he had gotten on. The format is that one writes the sin complete with the time, place, form and event. He came back to me wanting a definition of "form". As he was not sure if he was doing it right. I sent him to the qualifications department to get it cleared up. The next day I went to see how he was doing, he was having some trouble and I could see he had not sorted out the form part. I asked what definition he was using, the qual sec had shown him an RTC def. :FORM: behavior, eg, "bad form". WTF? Annoyed I went to see the qual sec. You see the format comes from a scientology axiom, no. 38; truth is the exact time place form and event. I pointed out that the definition used did not fit the axiom, so must be wrong for OWs if it is wrong for the axiom. "NO", says the qual sec "it couldn't be as it came from RTC." I held my ground with him trying to get it corrected, oddly as the debate went on every exec within ear shot came in to shout at me, by the end of it there was the Qual sec, the org exec sec and the org officer standing in front of me. I saw the ED walk into qual and decided to cut my losses. I dropped it.
I got to the point where I could not stand being on staff any more, I was being pressured regularly to take Wednesdays and / or Thursdays off work to audit and ensure I got my 25 hours per week in the chair, the target of face to face auditing Hubbard laid out as "normal operation" for staff auditors. It was getting to the point where I would be regularly ambushed by the three top execs to do it, they would try to keep me there until I gave in, it would generally degenerate to them screaming at me about my out ethics and CI (counter intentions), and sometimes they would have the PCs scheduled already, effectively trapping me.
I told my wife I was leaving staff, she was at her limit too for other reasons and we blew together. Of course we were recovered at threat of SP declare and came in to 'route out' standardly. Three months later we were no closer to getting out of there so we stopped keeping staff hours. We'd come in if they got up to the "you will be declared stage". It was awful, we were treated like criminals. You see, Hubbard more or less explains that it is the hostile being who leaves the group, his need to leave is born out of his crimes and his impulse to protect others from himself. So it justifies any thing they may do to a "freeloader" in response to them leaving. Serving the greatest good is serving scientology itself, which is the only thing that can save man. Stands to reason.
in my face shouting at me
Then one day the execs had a brilliant divide and conquer idea. I was taken by the HAS to the ethics office, some how they had gotten from my wife that she had been upset by me in an argument. The HAS asked me what my intention was, what evil purpose I had, he asked in different ways, he yelled, he threatened, no meter, no session, it was just a straight attempt to uncover my obvious criminality. I could not answer the question, it went for about 20 or 30 minutes. He was leaning over the desk in my face shouting at me. He saw I was thinking and asked what about. I said I was trying to figure out how to give him what he wanted. He told me that was my "evil enemy way" of using my auditor training and to answer the question. Another 5 minutes and I felt I would go crazy or hysterical if I did not figure out how to get this to stop. Right now, while writing this my heart is racing , hands shaking, I can again feel my desperation of that "session". Anyway, I did the only thing I could think of to end it, it was a conscious surrender to a solution that I was suppressing, I launched my self over the desk sweeping every thing on it to the floor, a coffee mug smashed against the wall.....I was going to fucking strangle him, then pound him into the ground until he stopped asking me those fucking questions, but I knew I could not take any more of that and I was going to do as much damage as I had to, just to make him stop.
He stood up in shock, his eyes following the debris flying across the room I put my weight against his chest and slammed him into the adjacent wall, my right hand around his throat. All his hostile bravado was now gone, a look of terror on his face. It was an old wood panelled office with glass windows across the front so every one in HCO could see us, in the corner of my eye I saw people scurrying for cover, the whole area emptied. I cannot really remember what I said, I wish it were something really cool or scary. But I think I just said or yelled,' I don't have an evil purpose' (LOL) Seeing I had regained control or more precisely the upper hand, I then excused myself, got my wife and left.
We never went back to do the routing form. The threats of declare were left on our answering machine, I never responded. I was silently daring and even wishing them to declare us. I was convinced they were nuts. But oddly I was not done with the tech, or my bridge.
By this time I had used the study tech to word clear my tech books, I had been back into boat building for about two years. I worked on the waterfront as a subcontractor and was making good money, slowly we got out of our surplus debt and paid the freeloader bills.
It was during this period that I learned a valuable lesson in handling 'desperates'. One Thusday morning at about 4am their was a knock on the door. I got up groggy, half asleep to find two reges there on the landing, stupidly I let them in. They were in need of GI (gross income - $$$), would I pay some off my freeloader bill ? See, they were foundation staff, so Wednesday night, or in this case Thursday morning was their last chance to get their stats up for the week. After an unpleasant argument, where basically I was baited into getting upset and thus losing control of the conversation, I gave them some money, can't remember how much. I went to bed annoyed, brooding over how I'd done that. Next week..... the same thing happened at 3am ! It was clear why they came back. I told them to fuck off. They did not come back again. They always repeat the action that gets a stat. Also, I figured if you waste their time and negatively affect their stats they will avoid you... from that time on I was armed, and licensed....to be annoying.
a scientology front group that recruits businessmen
The AO recovered us and we got an ARCX session, it worked, and we went into comm again with them, so it was straight to .....the reges. We did our OT levels to OTIV. It was while I was on AO lines that WISE started at me. This is a scientology front group that recruits businessmen and extorts money from existing scientologists. Now this guy followed me everywhere, he would be waiting for me when I went to lunch . He told me that I needed to become a wise member, I used the tech at work, didn't I ?
So he said it was time to pay the piper. Wise was getting ethics in on the business world and it started with me..... paying. He wanted a fairly large percentage of my income, I forget the amount, I thought it was extortion.. I asked, "didn't I pay for the right to apply the tech I learnt ?". He berated me for being out exchange. Under the constant pressure I paid him the least I could get away with as it was implied it would move to an ethics cycle if I did not join. I was on OT III so did not want any ' trouble, see; I was overwhelmed by what I was trying to do already. An easy mark. I later found that the same principle was applied to solo nots public at flag. Often the reges would try to trap you on your first night in, while you were jet lagged, and vulnerable, and about to do a confessional. Which as all people on solo nots know can make one quite anxious. As soon as I was out of his reach I stopped paying. But this was to herald a recurring nightmare with WISE.
The whole time I was on advanced courses at the AO I was dogged by recruiters as well, those interviews can be intense, I sat through many of them, patiently and politely. One day I had come into the AO for an appointment with the qual sec. I was quarter of an hour early so made a cup of tea. Christian Foreman, a senior exec, asked if I would talk to him while I waited, "OK" I say and we go into a room, there were two missionaires, both women in there. They start recruiting me, I listen for 15 minutes then excuse myself to go to the meeting I was called for. The room had three doors. I walked to the first door a missionaire blocked it, I sat down and explained that I was now late for the meeting I had driven an hour to come in for. Their intention was clear, they were going to hold me in the office until I signed a billion year contract. I walked to the second door the other missionaire blocked that door...hmm, both were girls and when I tried to move them they fought,..... I couldn't fight a girl. I went to the third door and Christian blocked it, by now I am a bit desperate. He put his hand on me to manhandle me back in to the room, I took his wrist and inverted it, when his knees buckled I flipped him onto his back. I walked out over the top of him while he was cradling his sore hand. By the time I got to my appointment I was sure I would be declared an SP - I was terrified.... No such luck, I did not even get a KR.
Just after that an economic recession made working on luxury boats a losing proposition, by now we were back in debt heavily after our time at the AO and interest rates had more than doubled. We were in a lot of debt. With my income drying up I was worried.
I was mistaken
I went to work for a scientologist in a roofing co mpany, it was run from their home. I was asked to sell roofing on a commission basis, they were turning over very little money so if it was going to work I had to nearly triple the size of the business, to earn enough money to live on the commission percentage. I took the job and started quoting and selling roof repairs and replacements, only I did not get paid until they did, there was a very long wait till my first pay cheque. Slowly and steadily I worked the sales up. Then one week we hit $13K turnover, it was four times the turnover they were doing when I got there. 10% was mine I was very pleased, good money in those days. I could pay back some of the people I owed. Even better, I had two tenders on big jobs and it looked as though we were going to get them. If I was expecting any appreciation I was mistaken. As I got my pay I was informed that from now on I was not going to get commission on the material portion of the job. I was annoyed as I'd provided my own car and paid my own way for months, as I built the sales up. I asked for vehicle expenses, but they were having none of it. It seemed to me that I was not going to be allowed to earn more than the others in the executive council.
The next week a WISE consultant was called in. The whole staff was to do danger conditions as we were all out ethics, I could not think with it. The stats had been in a steady affluence for three or four weeks, it just did not seem like the right action. A weekly financial plan (FP), with all expenses was handed out to all staff. I took it home and looked at it, the penny dropped, this small company first paid the owners, including the wife who was org staff and did not work in the business, then the house rent, then the private school fees at the scientology school, then the lease on the vehicles, then the huge overdraft that was taken out by the company and given to the church for their advanced courses. We couldn't pay any actual business related expenses at all, and they were not getting paid.
I took the FP into the WISE office and pointed out that they were working on a wrong why, and the company was being gutted. While I was there I found out the boss had fraudulently short changed a customer whom I had sold a re-nail of a slate roof to, by only temporarily repairing the side she could not see from the ground. The customer had sent a friend up on the roof because she did not trust my boss. All of this came up at WISE, not reported by me, it was the first I heard of it. When I got to work I was hammered. Assigned enemy and treated like it, 'for going outside the group'. There were two part time "execs" who were also staff members in the org, they were livid that I had gone and told WISE (which was an SO group in those days) what I had found. But it was them that brought WISE into the business in the first place.
I have never been so black in my whole life. I could not get through the doubt condition as I was asserting the bosses intentions were less than ideal to say the least, as were the others who only wanted WISE to have part of the data and went hysterical when I spoke directly to the WISE terminals. I got fired. The two big jobs I was working on came off that week, they sent me $100 for each, they owed me $4,000. I was stunned.
trying to recruit me for the Sea Org
I went home and tried to clean up my conditions, I was pretty maggotty. The phone rang it was Harry Bloomberg, he had been trying to recruit me for the SO since I had been on my OT levels. He asked and so I told him what I was doing, he said to come in for a session. I did, he gave me an L4BRB this is a list to sort out wrong indications . The funny thing was, when he finished auditing me he did not try to recruit me, he gave me a pat on the back and told me I'd had it right, as he knew the people involved, he then let me walk out and he never tried to recruit me again. I was glad, I don't think I would have survived the navy, but Harry was an irresistible character, I like almost every one who knew him, liked him very much.
That day, when I got home I decided that I should work for myself and pursue a passion I'd had for a long time, I started making furniture, it took off and within a few years I had built my company to nearly 20 good staff. I never looked back. We set up a retail division and my wife joined me, her contribution to the marketing was stellar. I never could get her to do LRH marketing though, she had no confidence in it.
We also set up a 'ready to hang curtain' business with a partner. This was a sideline for us. She was a great girl but I handled her badly. I had become a "no prisoners" type exec, imitating the way I saw execs on staff and in the SO operate. I am not proud of it, firstly because I hated the atmosphere they created and secondly every one of those were dismal failures at capitalising on their staff's enthusiasm. But still it was the model that matched my green on white training so I used it as my op basis.
By it's nature the curtain business could not be run week to week, we would get a huge sale then have to drop everything to deliver it to the department store on time. Then we'd have to hammer and pound to get the sales going again, this was rough on our partner as it fell to her to go and get another big order, she held the sales function. This scene was made worse because she was a selectee of ours, we had gotten her into scientology, and the AO wanted her to do her grades... it was when the OTs were being C/Sed to do grades. I never saw that work out for anyone. I think all the OTs that did that bogged on their bridge, they seemed to get sort of super restimulated. I can't recall any of them continuing scientology after that. So she did her grades but was getting more and more introspected as she did them and we were not getting on work wise. I got a call from the AO, she needed to do her introspection rundown would I help reg her for it. She agreed, but by now our relationship was under a lot of strain.
After she did that she decided to take the business to her home city, I thought it was crazy, but we couldn't work together anymore. A few months later there had been no more sales. I decided to end the partnership and worked out a price that I would be happy to either buy out her half or sell our half to her for. She took our half and sadly the business evaporated within a couple of months. However, she went on to become a very successful top exec in the most successful dept. store in the country. She never did any more scientology and was bitter about it. But she became a corporate high flyer with all the trimmings, and is very happy, something I am very glad about.
a way to survive
This was when WISE came back, they had discovered I had gotten some of my staff on the bridge and they had been recruited for org staff, which in itself was a disaster, org staff never took their day employment as anything more than a way to survive while they did their "real" job. But WISE decided they had to protect the orgs from me "stealing org staff' and being an "external influence". Special Policy Directive Number....whatever, was quite clear that any scientologist that employed org staff had to be a member of WISE, or else, I think it said. So the only way was for me to be a paid up WISE member, that way they could ensure my ethical activity. Now this SPD was written by god knows who, so as far as I was concerned I did not have to follow it and further joining WISE or having any contact with those clowns was a thing I vowed I would never again do, just on principle. That put me between a church reg and their stat, it would be more comfortable and safer to stand between a wild buffalo and her calf, the more I resisted the more pressure came on. I was called into the AO and told I needed to do an HCO sec check. I got a less than happy reaction to my protest that WISE offered zero exchange and while forcing memberships was possibly a good solution in the short term, it was not going to work out in the long term. Talk about waiving a red rag to a bull. My only way out, short of sacking the guys I had gotten in to scientology, was to join, so I bloody well did. But I was dirty and have never forgiven WISE to this day.
It was now around 1991, We went to an OT committee meeting, I have to admit the only reason we did was because it was during the "call to arms" period of the church, it was just after the TIME magazine article. A new Executive Director (ED) had joined the class V org, and the place was a wreck, carpet thread bare, the walls smoke stained and chipped, paint flaking from the wood work , the furniture mis matched and looked as though it came from an opportunity shop. She was going to get the place humming, and was recruiting the OT committee to help renovate the org. The org had no money of course so we just had to figure it out. This was before reging for donations was the order of the day, so you couldn't just go and put your hand out for money like is done today. Well, about four of us started sprucing the place up, we would work in the public areas the only times they were closed, Saturday and Sunday nights, about 7pm till 2am, we got in and painted, and pulled up carpet. We did a fair bit when we were asked to sort out the academy, where the students studied the tech. That place was a dive, none of the furniture matched, some of the chairs were broken, the laminex desks were old and chipped. We had a bright idea, we would have a posh dinner in a swanky hotel and get Kate Ceberano to sing, all the field loved her, she was a great jazz singer and jazz was her first love as far as I knew. My wife and I sold 200 tickets to the event and held a raffle while we were there. I think we raised about $12,000. Not big money by todays standards, where DM can lift $10mil from Bart Simpson, but at the time it was a record fund raiser for Sydney.
It was an uphill battle to get people interested enough in those days. The money was slated to go to the academy reno, as I said and was put into an account in the CLO or org itself, I forget which. Then a funny thing happened, someone at the CLO had one of those targets that comes down from "up-lines" to fully re-do LRHs office. Now his office was already the swankiest room in the building, no shit, it was the Shangri-bloody-lah next to the rest of the place. But the LRH comm in the org had the matching target, and control over the doe. It was all over red rover for us poor bastards.They used every cent we'd raised to re-do it. The annoying thing was that it included meters and books, and probably a fat book commission for someone. There was nothing else for it, we had to go again and raise the money to do the academy. We held another dinner, it was a slog to get any interest, but we filled the venue. Remember it was at the time of that call to arms? Well the IAS reg did ! It was Jeff Pomeranz , he showed up at our dinner and turned it into an IAS reg event. He must have been desperate, he was very mis-emotional and made the OT committee chairman and his wife, the only Patrons there, feel like heels because she had a piece of jewelery on, one of those OT bracelets that the church sells, and the swines were not giving him any money, it was a pretty horrible night. The ED of the org asked if they could donate the money we had raised for the renos to the IAS, we were trapped and nodded numbly. After that we gave up on renovating the place.
I had done OT V and two forms of FPRD around this time, I had had good wins on these actions, one FPRD form had really blown me out. I now believe it should have never been done again after that, unfortunately that was not to be the case. But for now our business was expanding and we were doing well financially.
I have to pay NOW to make it stop
It was the about '92-3 and these were the days of the crisis in Germany, the IAS reges were on the phone regularly, we agreed to do our PATRON in the IAS. They wanted a cheque immediately......it was $40,000 US !, "NO, you can't have it now", we were going to target for it and earn it. Horror of horrors we were going to apply FINANCE POLICY to it. We had to, obviously we did not have that kind of money. They never did get that we had to earn the money first, or they refused to get it. I would get calls at all hours of the work week day and night to "brief me" that was code for their strategy of telling me a pile of alarming bad news, terrible things that the SPs were doing to scientologists in Germany and then tell me I have to pay NOW to make it stop. They were incessant. I tried to hold firm as I found that by playing the game of targeting to earn their money as well as mine, the business kept getting bigger. We did two Patrons and a Cornerstone over the next few years, as well as funding many local activities.
But something was going wrong, the phone would ring constantly with requests for money from other parts of scientology. Sea org (SO) would arrive at my house uninvited, remember the lesson I learned ? It was time to put it into practice.
At one stage we were having a crisis meeting at work as a major job was bugged, we had geared up for a new account and they had stalled at their end. An IAS reg sat in on the meeting, as though he was an exec in our business, he was there to solve a crisis too, "how come this months payment is in jeopordy, and what are you going to do about it ?" It was an odd scene, I looked at this guy and he sincerely looked as though he felt he had every right to participate in our business meeting, like it was his business too, and he seemed to think he was pretty senior as well. He loooked at me like I might not actually have the right to ask him to leave. It should have been funny and would have been, if it was not so infuriating.
Another evening an SO IAS reg was at my house and he was not going until I paid him, he had brought his sailors hat. It was time for bed and he would not go. I picked up his hat and walked out the door, placing it precariously on the balcony rail, actually I was going to throw out into the night but he followed to rescue it and I quickly turned and walked inside then locked him out. I went to bed to the sound of him knocking on the door. The harassment escalated from there. Later I began to feel like a marked man, we got scores of phone calls, they would not take "no" for an answer. It was truly horrible.
The word had spread that we had been generous there were dozens of projects in scientology that needed donations. The IAS, ABLE advisory board, planetary dissemination, org renovations, the library campaign, translations unit, tech preservation, the scientology school committee, CCHR, the super power building, narconon and the way to happiness campaign. Each activity had their own maniacal reg team that was going to get your money or die in the attempt, and it was getting abusive. When it got really hard to convince each new "super reg" who wanted money that we were not going to give it to them, they would take it personally, pushing till we bit or flared at them. Then they would try to attack us and KR us, recommending sec checks and exclusion from OT levels. I started to get upset by these tactics and was less than polite. I told several to fuck off and never call again.
the love affair was over
Then, I had to get some extra sec checking and ethics, apparently my behavior was not acceptable and I had accumulated several KRs. I capitulated visibly but decided to myself that the love affair was over, right there in a confessional session too, I am sure it was not the result that the C/S and flag auditor wanted. I was incensed that I was paying hundreds of dollars per hour for auditing that essentially was a punishment for defending myself and worse; a method of breaking down my resistance. I decided to cut off all donations, not one more dollar, but I had to be smarter about it than I had been. I had learned before they would not continue to waste time on reging some one who was a "no go". I just had to wait them out. So I sat through several loooong cycles, refusing to budge, but not rushing them, as even though they were long for me I was making them longer for the reg, it was the tactic they often used; war of attrition, really long reg cycles that went into the night, so the person would break down and pay, it would be a team of reges too and they were expert at making you think that leaving the cycle was a failure on your part which would inhibit your ability to be a real OT. Well I could play that game too. I was also horribly pleasant. Eventually after many such interviews our phones went quiet, it took a while for the word to get around though. Another result of that was our name was mud, none of my old SO buddies were even vaguely interested in us, we felt like pariahs, but I think we were meant to.
I would have to say that donating any money to the Cof$ is like dripping blood into a pool of hungry sharks, a very dangerous activity.
In 1993 I started on OT VII. The holy grail of "pre-OT levels". My wife followed in 1996, and a bit later the GAT came out, that was the Golden Age of Tech, it was heralded as a new way to train people in the techniques of scientology, it was developed by DM and had very little backing in the scriptures written by Hubbard. By then I was struggling with finding the end of the level I felt I should be done or soon at least, but I was grinding, not winning from applying the solo nots procedures. I had been on it for three years and was hard to keep up the enthusiasm for doing it. I wasn't to know it would get much harder from here. After the GAT we were due every six months to come to flag, as we were before the GAT, only now it was called a 'refresher', it was a misnomer, there was nothing refreshing about it. There was a very long sec check, done FPRD style. Totally out tech as it was a rundown delivered in a rundown. To make it worse, sometimes we would wait up to two weeks to get started on the cycle as there were not enough auditors, so a refresher could take up to one month, it was mostly waiting and the dreaded FPRD. Can you imagine flying half way round the world to do a compulsory service that cost the earth and one that no one in their right mind would do out of their own free will, then being told to wait, while your business and family needed your attention back home?
It also usually included look in sessions where your metering was recorded on a computer and matched to a video of the session. The first few were very stressful, but after that we took it in our stride. Any errors were corrected and then if they of a metering type you went and did another. I saw one poor guy who had been in that merry-go-round for a month.
I made myself believe them
We both had many "refreshers" I think I did more than twenty over the fifteen years I was on the level. Part of leaving flag is the obligatory success story, you can not leave without a good one, and not writing one isn't an option. It would at the very least get you into a cycle of more of the same, more confessional, or word clearing etc. Of course that meant more time and money, so as painful as the visit was...survival dictated that you found, dredged up or created a "win", wrote it down and F/Ned at the examiner, I became very facile at this, of course all my refresher success stories were a stretch of PR that would embarrass an American marketing executive, but I made myself believe them while I sat there on the cans. I would privately joke to my friends at flag; "what's the best sound in the world ?" "The snap of the airplane seat belt as you buckle up to fly out of Tampa airport !."
I truly hated those visits, and faced them with a grim determination to get them over with asap. I had seen some people spend two and three months on a refresher at massive personal cost. When you were at flag, you were totally at the mercy of the org, if someone on the line felt you were not up to scratch as far as what their idea of a solo nots public should be , then you were there until they were done with you. If you left without permission, not only were you "blowing your chance at eternity" but risked an SP declare. It was not done.
On one trip to flag I couldn't help noticing that there was a dirty old mattress on the turning circle in front of the lobby of the sandcastle, right there on the ground. It was there when I checked in and when I got up the next day, so I asked what was up. I was told that Kirsty Alley thought that the two fledgling doves in their nest, that were in the tree above, might fall out and hurt themselves. Fair dinkum. So the hotel staff aquiesed and placed a mattress there in front of the double front doors. Further, she had convinced them to bring the birds in to her room every night so that she could ensure their safety and return them to their nest and mother in the morning. That explained the ladder that was leaning against the wall next to the entrance. I was wondering if she was growing them out to eat, but I stopped short of asking her.
I was on the OT committee at AOSH ANZO, we were given the mission to get 200 people onto solo levels...pure fantasy, there was not the clears rolling off the production lines of the lower orgs. I have no idea how many but I think the class V orgs were making a few a year each, the clears in the field were generally ARC broken. It was our job to handle this, and convert them into active on source scientologists, "read"; 'paying public' at the AO, so we were given the names of all the people the staff could not handle, and had been working on for a while, it was rough. We did not get anything like the production that was being asked of us. Later I heard that the new Captain had to tried to recruit other scientologists in the field to run the OT committee because we had failed on our mission. More about her later, her name was Elaine Allen.
the phone would ring and ring and ring
The other activity that we used to be asked to do was event call in. The funny thing was I personally loathed event time because the phone would ring and ring and ring ...whether we had confirmed we were going to the event or not, sometimes up to 20 times a day. To be asked to participate in this outright harassment caused non compliance in the OT committee to be developed into an art form. A couple of OT committee members tried to explain to the Captain that maybe more calls were not the answer, and they told her how many calls they were already getting, she treated them like they were lying in order to spread their entheta,... it was surreal.
After the GAT scientology was becoming much more intense as an activity, I was holding the OT committee chairman job, as the proper chairman was on his "refresher". The committee was organising an old timers event at a function center out side the church, in fact it was at the city zoo, they were very excited because they felt they were going to get some old dianeticists and scientologists from the '60s to come. They had been blown for years, mostly they did not like the SO and the way scientology was run nowadays. I got to the AO to start the meeting and it was Elaine's first day on post. I was summoned by her master at arms to see her. I met with her and she laid down the law. I was told we could have the event at the AO or not at all. I thought it was an odd approach as we used to completely fund all of our activities, so I told her that the guys had put a lot into it and they would not like it being canceled. She tells me; "if they don't like it they can see me", "OK" I says and I slump down to the meeting to break their hearts.
They weren't happy, and I conveyed what she said. At the end of the meeting I was again summoned....She starts telling me how things are going to change etc., I butt in and tell her what happened and that I said they could talk to her. She dances around in a circle and says "maybe" she dosen't want to talk to them......I decide on the spot that she is a very dangerous person....it was funny 'cos I just tuned out from what she was saying from that point, I remember seeing her lips move but no sonic. In the next few seconds I decided that the project I would replace the zoo one with would be the setting up of a "Narconon set up committee" and I was going to be on it once it was created. Those of you who know scientology lines know that Narconon is not under the AO, so it was my escape from the lunatic dancing round in self important circles in front of me. Undeterred she sent about ten faxes to my work the next day, when I got to the office there was a panoply of orders waiting for me...UH! I read them and answered as glibly as I possibly could, stone walling her without a hint of defiance, I signed them "The temporary OT committee chairman". This is taken from a trouble area questionnaire, written by Hubbard, it is assessed on the meter and one of the questions to correct an area not functioning well is; "Is your post temporary?" as it was a known "why" for poor post performance and because it was not easily remedied she never bothered me again.
a one time donation of about $5,000
We did a fund raiser for Narconon, and when the real chairman, Dave Gibbons came back from his "refresher" I transferred myself. I held a weekly meeting on Tuesday nights. I was pleased to see that a couple of OT ambassadors were coming, as well as the CO ABLE, that means the Commanding Officer of Association for Better Living and Education, (someone loves acronyms). After a couple of weeks the CO explains I have to be an ABLE advisory board member, this means nothing, it was a ruse to get a one time donation of about $5,000 from either generous or self important people, it was targeted at both, and you got your picture in the ABLE news letter as a "board member". NO, I say I am not interested, I am annoyed as I see all of his interest in what we were doing was based on a desire to lift money from me, not get drug rehab tech readily available. I did my block a bit and told him not to be so predatory. He told me that I can't come to the meeting any more as it was for ABLE board members only, (bullshit, they came to my meeting). But "fine" I say "I will be having the Narconon meeting Wednesdays from now on", none of those guys ever came, and the Tuesday meetings evaporated, LOL. But within a couple of months we had an ED recruited to run narconon and we helped him to get it set up.
The funny thing about church finances, the scientology schools, narconons, WISE, crimonons, way to happiness campaigns are all funded and manned by the public. If you look around in scientology at anything happening it is, as far as I have ever known been funded and set up by the public, then taken over by the SO because it was not up to scratch or out tech or "flapped" or something. So when we did a fund raiser to get a narconon going the CO ABLE put his hand out for 10% of what we raised......excuse me? I tell him no, you can't have 10%, you are getting a NN . It did not make me popular but I did not care, so far all he had done was ask for money.
If the church management gets it's public to do all the funding and the fund raising and starting of activities, apart from a money collection point, what are they for?
So, back to Elaines reign of terror. She began driving recruitment for the SO, and they were targeting young people, second generation scientologists, usually at the age they would leave school, 16 to 19 yo, sometimes younger and the SO recruiters were heavy handed. One particular incident some SO members were trying to get a kid to sign a contract, they were out at his place, there was a baby sitter there, not for the recruit but his younger siblings, the SO recruiters were so aggressive that the baby sitter nearly called the police, and in fact threatened to. I believe a door was kicked in at that incident by the recruiter. They were also running rough shod over parental concerns, I know of one couple that was deadfiled because they would not cooperate with the recruitment of their children. Yet another couple who were my dear friends, and field auditors were having their only son recruited, they had gone to the AO to pick him up after course at 10pm, he was in a recruitment interview, at about 2am after being denied access to their son, as well as being lied to, the parents became a bit hysterical, and demanded to see him. They were treated like enemies of the group and "handled" by the ethics department the next day. They were both told that they needed to do an HCO sec check and were given an estimate of $30,000 that they had to come up with for the privilege. It was at this time I wrote a huge report to international management, I was able to cite seventeen horror stories involving the recruitment of kids and the total disregard of the families they were in. Later when Elaine was RPFed I kidded myself that it was because I and obviously many others had done the courageous thing and written up the local insanity to Int.
I would leave feeling bludgeoned
Around this time, mid '90s there were a lot of "mandatory briefings" for the field, particularly the OTs. I had gone to many, I had felt obliged, when you are on OT VII they sort of have you by the short and curlies, with a sec check always just ahead of you, a timely KR waiting for you at flag could prompt many more additional probing questions. So potentially a lack of attendance could be painful. They were usually attempts to press gang the public into unpaid work or donating money for a project that was on a program that came from Int. They were routinely horrible, regularly the doors would be locked until the SO running the event got what they wanted. Often I would leave feeling bludgeoned and made to feel guilty and wrong for having money I was not giving to the church, or in the case of activities that I was not putting my whole energy behind the cause. I came to personally define "mandatory briefing" as; "A briefing with no other redeeming feature." After a while it was enough for me to hear that an event was mandatory for me to mentally mark it ;"avoid at all cost"
Another thing happened at this time that should have served as a red flag, my wife and I were at an event, in the front.."Patron" seating, she was eight months pregnant and the sound was way too loud for her, she told me the baby was doing somersaults, she was a little distressed and uncomfortable. So we got up and went out, we saw some friends in the lobby and chatted for a bit, then left. I got a call at work from the "Deputy Commanding Officer for Delivery and Exchange" a few days later, she demanded to know why we had left, I explained, she said," but you were outside talking", "Yeah I know, we were comfortable out side" I said, She replies; "well you can explain it to the ethics officer, now that we have the GAT no outpoint like this gets missed "........"Hmmm. Fuck it then" I thought silently to my self. That was 11 years ago I have only gone to about 3 events since.
I got stuck on something at this stage that I could not fathom. I had been sent back to do the PTS SP course GAT version, I had done it previously, but the C/S ordered for it to be re-done. While I was on that course I caught a documentry on WWII. I marveled at how it came to be that the world got caught in such a deadly struggle. So what was the story with the third riech? How did it happen the way it did? As any victim of that regime would tell you, any German soldier or SS would have done as an SP, until a real SP showed up in any case. But any fool can see that Germany was not populaced with SPs, so.... how did Hitler get a nation of people to go along with the slaughter of 7 million Jews ? How did they become so insular and made to feel so marginalised that they felt their survival depended upon the invasion of most of Europe and the vilification and eradication of perceived enemies? How did they come to believe that they were the master race? Why did they think, that for the good of the human race they had to smash all resistance to their plan of world domination? And the most troubling question; what would the world be like today if Nazi Germany had not been stopped ? This would come and go as a puzzle for several years, obviously a charismatic leader unified a whole nation into a strong identity, but the rest ...I just couldn't resolve it.
It was not until some time later that I saw why I was puzzling over this....but for now, it was bothering me. In the position of a German soldier what would I do? I was scared of the answer. Would I get swept away by the zeitgeist ? Would I be duped into becoming a true believer ? Would I be cowered into following orders ? I could not predict, but I felt I had to understand, only, I did not know why I kept thinking about it. I actually thought it might be because of the Nazi psychiatrists that beset us as scientologists or the Nazi critics in Germany, or even the US government trying to stop the church. The church made a point about our enemies being nazis and of course fascists . Maybe I did not give it due consideration, see the psychs and scientology's critics did not look like dictatorships to me and they didn't really have a master race that they wished to rule the world with, also they didn't particularly seem to be in a marked struggle with a hidden enemy (the Jews) like the Nazis were.So why call them Nazis?
out of the blue at a cost of...about $50,000
This was about when the first GAT OTVIIs were completing the level. I was horrified to see that it was taking up to eight intensives to get them through it, of course they had a sec check first then a review, then an EP check, this was to verify they had the "End Phenomenon" of OTVII. Eight intensives ? WTF ? I wrote to RTC, I even addressed it to David Miscavige, he seemed the most sensible person around. I pointed out that it was an action that was twice the size of audited nots, it was not shown as a level or action on the bridge, for example, like the Clear Certainty Rundown (CCRD) which was a five hour action....supposedly. Yet, here it was up to 100 hour audited cycle..out of the blue at a cost of...about $50,000 US. It had to be out tech....would you look into it ?..... I got a letter back from RTC, saying it was clearly totally standard. I also queried the six month refreshers ...seeing they were sending me, and almost every one else on them broke, it was on a trip to flag. I was told that it was based on confidential LRH advice, NO, I could not see it. Hey ! has any one read "the hidden data line" HCOB ? What about the verbal tech checklist ? So, back to the poor bastards who did the "EP check", and were continuing their quest for total freedom, the next step was OT VIII, truth revealed, so first they did another sec check, remember they just finished one a couple of weeks before, now this sec check for their OT VIII eligibility was taking between 2.5 and 4 ints, diabolical !! It is amazing that anyone with half a brain would put up with it.
A funny thing started happening at flag around this time too, on arrival all people on OT VII had to do an ethics interview, that is before the sec check. The MAAs started asking all the men if they masturbated, it was a metered interview, this went on for about a year or two, before someone came back to reality. But for now they were going to stop this evil and clearly abberated practice once and for all. If the answer was 'yes' you got to do ethics conditions and a reading assignment to correct it. One guy said to the MAA, "It's my dick!" I don't know how that turned out for him!
We were a few years into OT VII and we decided to have a child and expand our family, we had waited all these years, we'd been focused on scientology and of course making the money to continue it, we had put our whole lives into getting ourselves and others up the bridge. Now we felt we were ahead of the game and so we had a little girl, we were both very happy, actually ecstatic, there is something deeply fulfilling in parenthood, I felt it completed me in ways that I had not expected, and in a way that scientology had not.
When she was a bit over a year old it became obvious that something was very wrong with her, she had not made any of the milestones a baby should make, she was also very ill, and we had not found the why. We began what ended up being the the biggest and most traumatic cycle of our lives. Our little girl was diagnosed as severely brain injured, probably from cytomeglovirus contracted while in the womb (cruelly and ironically while my wife was on her first GAT FPRD refresher at flag). We were shattered, we were in and out of hospitals for weeks, we saw so many doctors I lost track, it was a blur and I was numb.
She was showing signs of autism, hemipelgia and hearing impairment, later the seizures would start. She was ill because her muscle tonus was wrong and she was getting food into her lungs, which was creating a constant infection. But we were determined to help her, in fact we wanted to get her completely well, naive? idealistic?....we were OT !...(or just bloody desperate !) We had already been taking her to a chiro twice a week to fix her strabismus (crossed eyes) we were also doing homeopathics, Bowen therapy and physiotherapy. But now the full diagnosis was in, we went into overdrive. I say full diagnosis but it was not really, while we were doing endless tests the doctors were annoyed that they could not put a tidy label on the condition, it was such a diffuse brain injury it affected so many functions that it defied the science of labeling. I was caught between desperately needing their help and being certain that their idea of a result was to label the spectrum of symptoms. It seemed surreal at the time, mostly I guess because I felt I was dying inside.
ask her if she wants to "end cycle"
I went into the org, AOSH ANZO for help, the senior C/S Shane Brockdoff wrote a program. It basically said; Extremely PTS child, it C/Sed her for touch assists, nerve assists and the process for a child with a disability. Then asked me to establish comm through hand squeezes and ask her if she wants to "end cycle". Then come back with the answer. I was gutted.
When we went to flag for our six month check shortly after that. All the data went into our folders, the senior C/S Richard Riesse asked for her folder and scribbled over the C/S from ANZO and sent us to do a Source Information Retrieval (SIR) search on the subject, it was a computer search engine for LRH references. There was nothing of value, mostly Hubbard's opinions on disabilities. The C/S also wrote us an auditing program that we continued and got extended for several years, I filled three pc folders by the time she was four years old and had used almost every process she could run. What surprised me was how little of value there was in this circumstance.
We had also exhausted every medical handling under the sun moon and stars, main stream and alternate, by now we had traveled to Cyprus for amino acid therapy, Philadelphia where we went on to the Doman's program, which we did for five years, more on that later. We also went to Singapore and Melbourne.We had also tried live cell therapy, Nambunton Allergy Elimination Treatment (NAET) and acupuncture.
We sold our business and embarked on full time therapy on the Doman program for five years, we worked to get her; walking, hearing, reading and communicating. All the while doggedly trying to finish OT VII.
Going to the Doman Institute was very confronting for me, as an "OT" I am afraid that I had developed the scientology view of the world, about PTSness and motivators, scientology was to make the able more able, I could not reconcile what I had learned with what I had to do and where I was.
In our 'class' at the institutes there were about twenty families, all had kids with varying degrees of brain injury, some were close to death. As I sat there in the big hall with twenty brain injured kids I looked around at them, some blind, some deaf, some immobile, and some writhing continually, some had all those problems and with my little girl among them I just felt trapped. Here we were, OTs and we were thrust into a world that could not have been more foreign and unexpected. I felt weak against the magnitude of the problem, impotent. Scientology just was not enough armor for me to shield off the overwhelming horror and momentousness of the size of the struggle that life can pose,. Twenty kids, with exhausted, worried but wonderfully heroic parents, as a scientologist it was not what I was expecting to see, they were meant to be PTS, degraded beings, like I felt we would be seen as by our own group, actually, like I felt.
They came from all over the world some had started trusts to fund raise so that they could afford the therapy, many came from Asia, twice a year as required by the institute for those on the intensive program. I met one man who had a son of 17 with severe cerebral palsy, he was a retired police officer from Italy, his wife left them both when she discovered the kid had a disability, she just could not handle it. Like many parents I have seen, it was just too much for her. He had delivered his best to this kid since. Another struggling couple came from the mid west, that kids program was a labour of love from their whole church, they formed a community around this guy to see he got the best chance he could. Doing the Doman therapy requires about 14 to 16 hours a day. It is a team job. Glen Doman is the father of all product officers, he tells you when you start, "If you have a day orrf, I'll boot you out the program" in his thick Pennsylvanian accent. He is quite nice about it though. His therapy is tough but about 65% of the kids that do it are benefited dramatically. In fact three quarters of the deaf kids end up hearing. There were three blind kids in our class, all three were able to see and read within the first two years of the intensive program.
what the hell was happening to me?
Over the next few years I consumed 11 intensives of FPRD on my regular 6 month checks, usually two to three intensives every trip but sometimes one. It was in the 'arbitraries' period. My case state was getting worse, not better, and I was plagued by the situation I was in and therefore very unhappy in general. At flag the cycle would go like this; after finishing the sec check one would go to the Master at Arms, MAA, he or she is the SO equivalent to an ethics officer, with a KR (knowledge report) of everything that came up in the session. Now in each case an "evil purpose" was found that prompted this sin and it was taken back to the earliest time it was conceived, somewhere in the dawn of time itself, and subsequently blown....stable datum gone. So what does the MAA do? He gets you to read an LRH reference to replace the bad purpose....out with the bad....in with the good. I began to suspect after several of these confession / indoctrination cycles that my own viewpoint was being supplanted by the group think. I was being molded into an ethical, on purpose scientologist. I did not like it....once I even confessed in session that I had failed to join the SO....what the hell was happening to me?
At home, between "refreshers" we delivered the rehab program every day to my daughter, I would take the morning shift while my wife prepared her home schooling, which we began when she was 3yo, we delivered it in short windows between the other therapies, as part of the Doman program. The idea was to give her as much stimulation as possible. At lunch my wife would take over and I would solo audit and work until she had to start cooking dinner, then I would pitch back in. This went on for the whole five years, seven days a week, as time went on we kept downgrading our hopes for her and preparing ourselves for a longer runway. I was like a tiger in a cage, I wanted to help my daughter, but the nature of the work was killing me, wins were hard to come by, and we worked with a desperation to reclaim her chance to live a "good" life. This idea of a good life, or a perfect life, was the model that we had accepted as the ideal scene from the group we were in, the group of OTs who are "cause", any thing less would be a failure, our failure. The greatest hope a scientologist has for their kids is that they too will cross the bridge to total freedom.
My daughter is ten now and we do three hours a day of a Russian therapy called Advanced Biomechanical Rehabilitation, ABR. See, on the Doman program we got her up and walking, it took most of the 5 years. Unfortunately her left leg continued to twist and she was not able to keep walking, this therapy should remedy that, as well as a lot of other structural difficulties she has.
When we embarked on her therapy we were thinking it would be as long as three years to fix her problem. Three years later and we were looking at another five, it was a tough problem to fix ! We also have been downgrading our initial goals for her, from getting her completely well to hoping she can have some independence, which at this stage looks unlikely.
I was on the highest levels of scientology
After one particularly tough week, my girl had several seizures and it was getting the better of me, my wife suggested I go to an event, see some friends sort of have the night to myself, have fun. I had not been to an event for a long time so I thought it would put me back in contact with the world around me, LOL. I sat through about two hours of this event. I just could not get interested. Eventually I had to go out and get a coke. I was convinced I was out ethics, psychotic or something. How could it be that I was on the highest levels of scientology and I can not participate in an international event ? It was not like it was bad news ! I could not even sit through it ! The night got worse when some SO member attempted to get me to buy several of whatever the release was to put into libraries. She approached it by telling me how fucked the field was and how dead it was down here in ANZO. I was repelled by her obvious disdain for her own field. I was so disinterested in the stellar achievements of scientology that I can't for the life of me remember what the release was !
Maybe it was the shock of the loss, or the piercing of the illusion of my "OT in control of life" state, but the outcome was my universe completely collapsed, right from the very first bad news about my daughter's future. I had let my kid down. I had let the group down as an 'OT'. We were expected to be able to audit anything away at our level, yet we had not made any dent in it at all. I recall sitting on the balcony at home, looking at the space around me, I felt removed from it, distant, a stranger. I could not reach anything and on a few occasions during that period and over the years that followed I wanted to, or hoped to die, quite seriously. My wife and I were not getting on and I was regretting having passed up my grandfather's farm when it had come up for sale. I was bitter. How could that be ? I was soloing every day, I was well advanced on the road to freedom, how could this be ?
At that time every C/S I got directed me to find more missed witholds. The C/Ss were getting more and more extreme in this regard, I recall getting C/Ses to pull MWHs regarding a rud, which F/Ned when I spotted someone had cut my comm off. Why ? Because it was a complaint. None of it aligned with the HCOBs on the subject, yet there I was getting correction on not pulling my own MWHs. Each time I went to flag I asked for help and explained that I was struggling and unhappy, so extra sec check questions were leveled at me. I was also tipped to do the new GAT PTS SP course which I did. But I struggled through those years convinced that getting through OT VII, "cause over life" was the key to putting the wreckage back together.
On one occasion when I was on a "refresher" I was instructed to give up more "dangerous" witholds....WTF ? I was giving up all my witholds, I couldn't help it if they weren't bad enough ! I suppose 'cos I was not happy they decided it was because I obviously had undisclosed witholds that were really bad.
in a distrusting cult
One morning we got an urgent phone call . My friends daughter had fallen through the stairwell at the class V org in Sydney, she had fallen about fifteen feet hitting her head on the railing on the way down. She was in a coma, she was about three. He was on his post in the org and she was being minded by a junior . She had been playing on the landing and simply rolled, the railing was not low enough to catch her, she went under the lowest bar. We got called because we knew about brain injuries, in a distrusting cult we were the closest thing to an authority, including the specialists that would be treating her. My wife went straight to the hospital as she had a good relationship with the girl's mum. The situation was hopeless, her brain had swollen from the impact subsequently cutting off its own blood supply. She died as soon as they took the machines off.
The funeral service was to be held at the AO. The captain, Elaine Allan was horified that a funeral service would be held in her church. Elaine had all the mourners instructed not to cry...WTF ? It was awful, the Hubbard service was totally inappropriate for a child, he obviously didn't consider children when he wrote the services. The minister was coached on the service without a microphone so instead of it being an appropriate and sensitive service he shouted the whole thing out in booming TR1. The inadequacies stood out like dogs balls, and for my part , my heart was breaking for my friend.
I kept close tabs of him after that, daily he was working in the building , and walking past the place where his child fell, it was unavoidable. I asked if he'd been in session, he'd been given a short action I think an hour or so, but he explained that he didn't have any money. He had been staff for twenty two years and was OT III so he had to go to the AO for auditing which was a few miles away as his org couldn't service him, the AO would want to be paid in advance. WHAT? I called the AO, got nowhere. So I wrote to ED INT explaining the service he had given and the situation he was in. I also tried to illustrate how horrible this would be to be tied by a contract and forced to work in a building where your own child died. I got a letter back quoting a policy that stated basically he could recruit a class 8 auditor to "staff staff auditor" position or he could pay, at a discounted rate at the AO for auditing. At his staff pay rate one years pay would cover a few hours of auditing. I gave up.
Over time and with a lot of therapy our girl did improve and in this endeavor we were given some serious gifts. She was able to do almost any maths instantaneously, she also was a speed reader, digesting a page in about 2 seconds, we learned to communicate with her via a board with the alphabet on it and got her to write a daily diary. It is called "facilitating". I was so proud of her at the age of three she wrote; 'today my tooth came out" within a short period she was writing letters to her friends. Even though she was ahead in these ways, her overall development was not in step with the passing of time; in short we were getting behind, not catching up. The expression of brain injury in a kid is usually developmental delay, as time goes on that delay can create an ever widening gap between the actual age of the kid and their mental age, plus any other specific attendant mental problems they may have. I saw our future as a family in very gloomy terms. Such as my wife and I changing diapers till the day we die, carrying, feeding dressing and managing the tantrums of a frustrated being who would get stronger and heavier while we got weaker with age. It is a situation I could not have imagined while being at the top of the grade chart, "where standard tech can raise you to states where nothing can strike you down". Here we were, it looked like all three of us were bound by this problem for the rest of our lives, and what then ?, after we were gone ? How would I ensure that her future was as good as I would like it to be for her ? We had gone from the illusion of potent, powerful pre OTs to being thrust into a problem where no adequate solution existed. We were trapped, all three of us, we had to help her, but had no adequate tools, many approaches helped up to a point , then dead ended.
only one ever came a second time
One very cool thing that happened was with the Doman program. They require a drill called patterning, (it is just the name of the exercise), from nearly all of the families. It is done 10 times daily, in two brackets each of five 'patterns' lasting five minutes each, with a gap for other therapy in between . This exercise requires volunteers, between two and four depending on the kid, we recruited a team of 30 'patterners', it was the easiest thing we ever did. My wife put an ad in a shop window, we also asked a neighbor who in turn recruited the whole street. Some came every week for five years, and drove up to 15 miles for the privilege. These people made me truly see the best that the human race has to offer, once or twice a scientologist would come and pattern, only one ever came a second time. But these "wogs" had compassion without limit. There was the "call in" which we did weekly to cover empty spots in our weekly patterning schedule, it would take about ten minutes, very different to org or OT committee call in.
Around 2003 the taxation office came after us, they billed us a total of $2.1 million dollars. I had to squint to read all the zeros, I was sure I was counting too many, double vision or something. We were caught in a policy change of the tax office, the retirement funds we had contributed to had beeen disallowed, a total reversal of their previous stance on the matter, there was huge penalties and interest. We were caught with hundreds of other business men and several scientologists, the matter went on for years. There was a parliamentary inquiry on the tax offices stance and laws were changed so they could never again do what they did, but it did not help us, as the changes were not made retro-actively .In our situation we did have an excellent case against them. The tax office did not respond to any of our submissions, we sent explaining that they had no case, they just ignored our representations, but they did send us quarterly statements with the additional interest, at 13% per annum it was mounting much faster than I was earning money, which wasn't fast as I spent my days trying to help my daughter and solo auditing. If we lost the case we were finished, we would lose everything. It felt like a sword was over my head, ready to drop. Also by this time, years of solo and feeling like I was getting nowhere plus the seemingly endlessness of my daughters therapy, the possibility of impending poverty worried me greatly. I had lost my confidence in myself to re-establish ourselves financially.
Eventually the matter went to a hearing, about six of us banded togther to defend it and share costs, the judge called it "the scientology matter" as all the parties had trusts which they used to donate money to the church. The first thing we discovered was the tax office lawyers had no clue about what their case was, they had read nothing. To think I had been in a state of semi-panic for three years, thinking I might be wrong and they might have some killer argument and we'd lose everything ! Over several hearings we won outright though it had cost us a fortune. But the sword was gone.
t was a paradoxical situation to be in; here we supposedly had the tech of life, any one who has heard the OT Doctorate lectures gets a pretty big and clear idea of what scientology promises and yet we were struggling to help our child in any meaningful way and under that strain the rest of life was not the great adventure that I had expected either, in fact it was a slog. The tech was not able to remedy the main problem. We were told to "just tell her to exteriorize and fix the body"..and that "LRH said the spasticity was just the stop button being out". Someone also told me we just had to run out the engram. Yeah, right and the brain damage will just heal up ! I was even seen as weird for 'believing' in the brain, a lot of scientologists don't believe in 'the brain', they think it is some kind of psych trick. A class 8 auditor told me that doctors and science had it all wrong according to Ron. He felt that he controlled his body directly, bypassing the neurology. Implying but not saying; "why work on the brain injury ?"
How come then, after 50 years of tech
I think at that time the congresses or something was coming out and there were stories of the blind seeing and the crippled walking from the '50s being told at flag graduations by the Captain Debbie Cook, along with other miracles. These stories were about all I could take, it just did not wash with us. How come then, after 50 years of tech development in scientology we could not find a solution in the tech for our kid if the results were so great back then ?
The expectation from some began to be, "well if you can't fix her get on with the game of clearing the planet", (the true crusade, compared to which the needs of a child don't compare). Another person on solo nots said to me,"what about your dynamics?". I even received a KR that I was using her as an excuse to not go into the local org.
I had in the past been an active Field Staff Member, or FSM for scientology, and had helped many people get onto OTVII, but I would have been a hopeless reg. I could only get people onto the bridge if I was convinced they would win, that was based on whether I felt I had been winning, a very subjective test, and terribly flawed reasoning. See; if I was struggling and unhappy, losing too many of the battles of life I blamed myself; my ethics, technical competence, wisdom, intelligence, etc. But if I was winning and feeling good, well that was the marvelous tech that Ron had given us, so in that circumstance I would promote OTVII, and other scientology services. Scientologists call it being "revitalised".
Over the years we got many friends and family members on to the bridge, as well as helping scientologists to take their next step. So, right at this point we were not winning, oddly enough we got many clues that flag did not want to pay FSMs, ...that's right it was a paying gig, 10% of the publics donation was given as commission. But now flag had cut the payment of commission on six month C/Sing, next they took some wacky interpretation of Hubbards forbodance of married couples "cross selecting" each other. It was interpreted as no commissions paid on spouses. Then they stopped paying commissions on the sec checks, which were the majority of the service, so a person on OT VII could not fund their own solo nots working full time as an FSM. I worked out roughly that the amount of "selections" of people onto solo nots to fund ones own solo nots went from 25 to 100. I had helped several people on the level that were still on it.... from before when I was able to rationalise that it was a worthwhile thing to do. Now my income dried up from it, seemingly on someones whim. But the demands from flag to put people on the level did not, I could not understand, if flag wanted people to go onto OT VII, as they said they did, why kick their FSMs livelihood out from under them? About every month the public on solo nots would be ordered to get a new person onto the level after that. Why pay commissions when you can just order someone to do it...and imply it was a point of vital participation to ensure that you yourself could continue on your route to total freedom?. You know..."do it or else your eternity may be in question".
Hard selling, according to Hubbard, is caring
Several times during my scientology career I was introduced to the hard sell data. Hard selling, according to Hubbard, is caring enough about the person in front of you that you insist that they buy. It is also applied to the IAS, super power and other "money for nothing" regging that is done, although it might take a bit of a stretch of the imagination. Now the doctrine of hard selling brings out an intensity and fervent dedication in staff members that borders on the manic at times. It engages the best and most earnest efforts of the staff.....to make money for the church. So the staffs most sincere intentions to see that a person is salvaged are profitably engaged by Hubbard to add to the coffers of scientology. It also permeates the culture, to the exclusion of all other activities. It is backed by KSW no. 1, though in an indirect way. When one is meant to be hammering out of existence incorrect technology and the future of every man woman and child depends on what we do, it goes without saying that you should not be at the football, or building a new house.
By this stage we were not participating in the expansion of scientology, as was expected of us. We were helping the parents of brain injured kids find non mainstream solutions, things that they could do to help their kids. Some families took it in their stride when they had a kid that was hurt, I admired that greatly, but could not emulate it. Some were wrecks, and often on psych medication. I found a lot of these guys tough to help as they had been overwhelmed by the problem. So they took the drugs which numbed them to the situation, they just sort of accepted it, in a "oh well" kind of way. On one occasion when we got a family going on a therapy the mum stopped taking the drugs on her own. But many families broke up over the trauma. One or the other parent could not go the distance. For me it was often too close to home, helping them with their kids, but it needed to be done, I could not endure seeing families go through what we did, without doing anything. At that stage, I felt it was far more helpful than working in the field for the church, even if it never paid a cent, which is exactly what it paid.
(We didn't and don't feel like OTs or heroes, I was wondering if I had not shown the events in the true light when I saw those comments for a little while. We really felt out-pointy and downstat.
A funny story, at our expense, to show how intent we were. One time when we were at flag on one of those GAT "refreshers" we had gone via the Doman institute and they had fired us up on getting our girl moving, you know crawling on her belly. They targeted us to build it up to 400 meters per day. It was explained to us as her best chance at recovery.
We had to get her therapy done.
Now we were supposed to do their program all day every day, and here we were waiting at flag for a week to start our next round of FPRD!. We had to get her therapy done. So my wife and I had her crawling up and down the long hall way between the restaurant and the AO lobby. We were cheering her on and putting her picture books down on the floor a few meters in front of her to keep her coming. I did the same at the Sandcastle reception area.
She was getting filthy, and I got a lot of strange looks. people had to step around us but I was practically oblivious and almost totally indifferent to any ones opinion LOL
We took her to a zoo one day when she was about five, I sat her on the railing of the monkey cage. She was wriggling, trying to get closer to the monkeys. I told her to be careful, 'cos if she fell in she might get mixed her up with the monkeys and I could take a monkey home by mistake. She really laughed, it was the first time she ever got a joke. She even mentioned it in her diary the next day.
At home I call her 'Little Monkey', I tell her that we need to go back to the zoo to see if I got it wrong and my daughter is in the cage with the primates.
Her real name is Courtney.
After eight years of therapy and fourteen of solo nots our marriage nearly split. It was about two years ago, and I was not able to see any future with the family that I could endure. There also was another woman I am ashamed to say, it was not a fling, I was looking for a way out and she had 'fallen in love' with me. I was called to flag, I was a year or two late for my "refresher" which I had been studiously avoiding. I got some basic scientology auditing finally which shifted some upset about my kid, a prep check and PTS handling. Then I got two more intensives of FPRD, tailor made which brought the total to 13 ints while on OT VII, along with the regular sec checks that took me to 17 ints give or take, ( my wife used 11 ints and then 6 on her last trip, which included the EP check). I also got rebuked in ethics by an MAA that was yet to lose her virginity let alone ride out 22 years of marriage with it's ups and downs. So I got LOTS of ethics and plenty of make wrong on the subject. But after this auditing I was able to create the family again and we planned another kid. We were together and at ease with each other, and now I cringe at the thought of leaving my wife to raise our daughter alone, too horrible, too hard. My problem was never that I did not like them, actually the opposite, I just couldn't face where it was going for any of us. Solo nots was not helping with that, in fact it was making it worse, as it would keep dredging up the upset in session without adequately discharging it. Solo nots kept us fairly introverted, always looking in when auditing it, always pressing us up against painful internal turmoil and I could not count the times I flew ruds over it, but finally the basic tech did create relief, it was my first review on OT VII and it did help, even if it was too little too late.
After a lot of work re-creating our marriage we planned to have another kid. It was a serious effort to reclaim the wholeness of our family. While we were expecting our new baby my wife went to flag, after twelve years on the level she felt she was done. I stayed home and juggled work and my daughters care, I even managed to do a little therapy....not much though. It took five weeks for my partner to do the "EP" check and it used a total of six intensives including the sec check. When she got through she was five months pregnant and very uncomfortable physically. It was decided that she would skip OT VIII and come home.
I was very anxious
We were excited to get her back, of course and picked her up at the regional airport. When she got off the plane I was shocked she had swollen ankles from the flight they looked as though they might burst, she was very swollen in general and was very distressed, she tried to cover up saying that she felt good, but she was grimacing, sort of wincing. After having had a disaster with our first kid I was very anxious. Panic was rising in me I had a knot in my gut. I took her straight to the hospital, we were there for a couple of hours and had several tests. It looked OK and we went home, after a few days the swelling went down. My wife got much more comfortable but needed a lot of care to the end of the pregnancy.
We had a little boy ,at the time of this writing he is seven months old and perfect in every way. He is the happiest baby I have ever seen, which has been a big "leveler" at a time when being a scientologist was becoming a questionable endeavor. Having another kid was something I was unwilling to do for the last eight years, while battling through life with my little girl's problems. But after the basic auditing and nearly wrecking our marriage, then coming back from the brink my willingness was restored.
He is the joy in our lives and his sister loves him even though she says that he is too little to play with.
Then one day in March a tear appeared in the fabric that was woven around me. Anonymous protesting the orgs caused me to look at some of the posts on the web. I was asked by CCHR to write a comment backing an article by a church official, I saw a comment from a critic that caught my attention, I don't even remember what it was, so I followed a couple of links. I found some things that I had heard a lot about; Lisa Mcphearson, the 1982 mission holders conference, Wollersheim, LRHs passing and I discovered what really happened. After that I read for weeks, I started at the Int stuff, having worked on staff that was real to me, "musical chairs-int base style" rocked me to the core, I went on from there, having long past the point that I could ever continue with the "church." Eventually, I read about Hubbard. The more I read the bigger the betrayal got. It got to the point that I was convinced that EVERYTHING that the church ever promoted, whether it was at events or on the web or wherever it spoke was a smoke screen for some fact that they wanted to cover up. In fact the whole organisation appeared suddenly to be the antithesis of my image of it , an image shared by so many scientologists. Everything that I had held dear about the church was gone, all illusion, worse, it was a lie to cover the facts, which in almost every case were the complete opposite of the advertised intention and stats. I was gutted, felt like I had lost a close friend, in fact I had lost much more, in the worst way....the whole group was not who or what I thought it was.
enemies of mankind; to be harmed or destroyed
In fact I found the OSA operations, and the GO actions utterly abhorrent. I felt a sick knot in my gut just thinking of the way people were treated because they had nominated themselves as critics of the church and the church for it's part had deemed them enemies of mankind; to be harmed or destroyed. Every game has it's critics and opponents. The church of scientology calls theirs SPs, psychopaths. The only beings in this universe who are truly beyond redemption. In fact it is even one of the methods of spotting the SP, his anti-scientology stance.
I was disturbed and ashamed to read about how my IAS contributions were used to fair game people, like Tom Gorman who was pressing rape charges against a staff member, and Gerry Armstrong's pursuit and suppression, as well as a host of others. I, like most, thought we were fighting evil SPs who would end the human races chances. Not some conscientious whistle blowers exposing the churches crimes ! So my most lauded achievements are now my greatest shame!
So suddenly, I understood why I was figuring on the Third Reich for so long and how many good people went along with the harm that they did....I had joined and supported a very similar ideology, I just couldn't see it. It was too close to home.
That is quite a disturbing experience and that is the viewpoint from which I post. The goal of becoming a "free being" with God like powers was over for me on my discovery of how Hubbard ended his days, in hiding, pursued, ill and insane. I also saw in reading story after story, that the game of scientology does not seem to end well for anyone. If you are still "in" just think over the OTs you've known and the long term dedicated staff and SO, how did they end up?
I was on solo nots and had stopped auditing when I first started reading the information, I had thought I would get back to it. As time went on, I was in a position where I felt it was only fair to explain my impending apostasy to the org. I was at the point that the thought of pursuing any scientology practice made me feel a bit ill. That was when the Director of Processing called for me to come to flag for my "refresher".Shocked by my sudden change of heart she asked for my materials back which I sent. I also sent a letter explaining the position I had taken. I included the human rights abuses and SP hall as well as the international census results showing less than 100,000 scientologists. As well as the Gallup poll showing the publics net positive view of scientologists -45 as compared to methodists 45, atheists -32. I was hoping, stupidly that he may see how I arrived at my conclusion.
a hundred pound parasite
At one level I was incredibly relieved, I did not have to do the mental gymnastics trying to explain and justify to myself and others the bizarre, dishonest and callously self serving activities of the church. That by itself was liberating too. I also felt as though someone had pulled a hundred pound parasite off me. I did not have to find the money or the time to stay on OTVII, an activity that was not contributing to our wellbeing in life. I didn't have to report in to flag every six months. I did not have to spend hours getting sec checked only to be told, once again by the ethics department that I should not masturbate. Also we wouldn't have to cover for each other, in caring for our daughter, who by now was a full time job, which we both found very hard to do on our own, while the other was on their "refreshers". I did not have to feel like a failure in the church because I was not contributing enough, like being on staff, starting a mission or running the OT committee, you see all OT VIIs are expected to be booming scientology in their area, as well as paying for their own services and auditing six times a day, it had been too much, especially with delivering the full time program we were doing to help rehabilitate our daughter, as well as her basic care........ I WAS FREE!
That's when the beingness and game of scientologist ended. A game that had consumed so much attention and resources. The idea that I had attained something that was priceless in the states I had achieved, vanished in the light of the fact that I was really not much further than where I had started, and NO I did not have all the answers at my finger tips in those conveniently indexed volumes. I have to do my own legwork, just like every other "wog."( Gee, I have always hated that word !) Nor did I have the OT powers that I had dreamed of. I did learn a lot and had some wins, this is what kept me hoping as I continued the bridge, but 25 years ? Well over one million dollars went into it between the two of us, possibly one and a half. I would have to say it was largely a waste of money and the better part of the time spent on it. I am bitter about it because my participation was mainly achieved with lies.
Over the years of moving on the bridge, including 15 on solo nots I was sure that OT was just ahead of me, we were on our way. Suddenly, I am just another human...that's not so bad, but I went the long way about it ! There is a big hole in my life where scientology was. I am not sad, though quite adrift. Losing the whole basis or platform from which you view your life with it's attendant struggles has been a serious orientation issue. It will take time to re balance after an intense and insular experience like this I guess. Scientology was so central to our lives that it's absence takes some getting used to.
My mind is again my own
I am certain that any devout scientologist who reads this will, in their own mind at least , have to find an adequate ad hominem argument to explain my apostasy;" flag missed a withold", " he was out ethics", " he is motivating", " he couldn't audit", " he was PTS"...."he is a raging SP", "needed an advanced program" etc. ad infinitum, anything but consider that the church could be at fault ! That is what scientologist HAVE to do merely to maintain their faith in the tech, but mainly in the church. The consideration that this may be an accurate description of someone's experience of scientology and the bridge would just be too uncomfortable for the faithful to face. Every day we are spotting one or another method used to coerce or control our thoughts and actions whilst in scientology. To separate from a cult like this creates huge changes in one thinking and out look. My mind is again my own. My wife and I are creating a future that we feel cheerful about. Just writng this and sharing it, although tough at times has put a lot of distance between me and the cult, in spirit I mean, that's got to be good!
I will help anyone who asks and tell anyone who listens. I am more than happy to see this story shared as far and as wide as it can be of use.
So that's my story, I hope it stops others, in and out of the cult from getting too burnt. In hindsight I wish someone had stuck their neck out and warned me way back when I was a bright eyed bushy tailed scientologist trying to get to flag to get through the second "wall of fire" .
It may be that my greatest function in life is to serve as a warning to others! LOL!!
This page is about groups, organisations or movements, which may have been called "cults" and/or "cult-like" in some way, shape or form.
But not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful.
Instead, they may be benign and generally defined as simply people intensely devoted to a person, place or thing.
An account from one person must be read as that; ideas could have been taken out of context or have been misunderstood.
Also, practices may change over time, or between one centre and another.
CIFS encourages readers to research widely before forming an opinion.
Information from one single source would need to be judged against other sources and one's own personal experience.
Therefore, the discussion or mention of a group, organisation or person on this page is not necessarily meant pejoratively.